Shirley Patrick, Queen of the West End

Shirley Patrick, Queen of the West End

A community activist! A community volunteer! Shirley Patrick is all of these and much more!

Roberta Pierce, at York Employment Service where Patrick has been working for almost five years, has said that Patrick is a large contributor to the overall sales performance of York Employment. Roberta has commented that Patrick is a great “team player” and will go that extra mile when called upon.

Having lived in the Inland Empire since the mid 1940s, Patrick has seen the area grow from being primarily an agricultural area of citrus groves and vineyards to a massive building of housing, very large shopping centers, “big-box” warehouses, product manufacturing facilities, and a population growth that has been unbelievable.

She has grown up in this community, graduated from a local high school, married her childhood sweetheart and raised three children in the Ontario/Upland area. She has been married for over 48 years. Her children live locally and they have six grandchildren, one a new baby boy, and one great grand daughter.

Beginning in 1979, she left retail to enter the staffing/employment field and owned a personnel consulting business for several years. By this time she realized that she needed to make a difference in the world, and being a high-energy type person, it was easy for her to do many things and to do them well all at the same time. Like the old saying goes, “If you want to get something done, find a busy person.”

For more than 30 years she has been a member of the Soroptimist of America, a community-based women service club with numerous community projects. Patrick was president of one of the local clubs and also held many chairmanships within those clubs. She participated within participated freely in making whatever events came up successful and profitable.

One of those significant events that she is most proud of is the annual Christmas on Euclid Craft Fair for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. The event was started in 1982, by a small group of service club people, including Patrick, as a community fund-raiser, to help to maintain the 12 historical Christmas scenes placed in the median up and down Euclid Ave. each holiday season. Those scenes have had several challenges. One was when an atheist challenged the placement of those scenes on the avenue. The chamber survived the challenge with courts stipulating that the scenes, being on the avenue since the 1950s, were his historical and not religious. There is now a commitment by the Ontario Chamber Board to keep the scenes funded and in top repair. Over the last several years Shirley Patrick has participated in an important role with the event and totally chaired the event for several years.

She has been honored many times in the Inland Empire by organizations, chambers and the City of Ontario. A few of the honors were: Woman of Distinction, Ontario City Community Hero, Ontario Chamber Volunteer of the Year, and several certificates of appreciation from OPARC, Kiwanis, and San Bernardino County and other organizations.

For the current year she is focused, not only on her job at York Employment, but is also dedicating extra time to the Ontario Chamber on their executive board. Still she is leaving time for the Rancho Cucamonga Kiwanis Club and Rancho Cucamonga Chamber events.

Patrick believes that it has been a great ride all these many years. She tells the Inland Empire Business Journal, “I have contributed to this community, and this community has been good to our family. I never meet a stranger, so if you see me say, ‘Hello.’ I may even help you find a job or help your company find employees.”

Copyright Daily Planet Publishing Inc. Mar 01, 2005

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